Mercedes and Red Bull at loggerheads over three-engine limit in 2018
Further power unit restrictions to be imposed next year despite protests from Red Bull and McLaren
By Pete Gill at Abu Dhabi
Last Updated: 27/11/17 1:32pm
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has shrugged off Christian Horner's claim that F1 is 'barking mad' to limit each car to three engines in 2018.
The current limit of four has repeatedly proved too much for Renault and Honda this term but next season the power units available to every car without penalty will be further reduced even though an extra race has been added to the calendar.
But Silver Arrows chief Toto Wolff has hit back at criticism of the regulations by his Red Bull counterpart by stressing the reduction is a result of a drive to lower costs.
"If it is 'barking mad' then he shouldn't have pushed for a lower supply price and shouldn't have agreed to do a deal that, in order to lower the supply price, we are going to go down to three engines," responded Wolff.
"All the manufacturers were pushed - let's call it strongly encouraged - to optimise on the supply price and this is what we did and this is the consequence. Everybody, as far as l remember, was around the table and part of it."
McLaren, who will also be supplied with Renault engines next year, are also opposed to the extra power unit limits being imposed.
"For me, it is going too far. Too far also because it is not Formula 1 anymore," McLaren chief Eric Boullier told Autosport.
But Wolff told reporters: "It's a massive struggle for all of us but this is what we discussed."
Ferrari are understood to have turned down a proposal from Red Bull to keep the limit at four engines at a recent meeting of the Strategy Group, arguing they have already incurred significant costs in making their 2018 engines even more reliable.
Engine-related grid demotions for cars and drivers exceeding their allowance has become a regular blight of the 2017 season. The case of Toro Rosso newcomer Brendon Hartley has been especially acute with the New Zealander given a grid drop in each of his four F1 appearances to date.
Comment below to get involved in the debate, but please adhere to our House Rules. If you wish to report any comment, simply click on the down arrow next to the offending comment and click 'Report'.